Armor Branch

The Armor Branch of the United States Army is an active combat arms branch.

It was created provisionally in 1940 as Armored Force under Chief of the Armored Force, Brigadier General Adna R. Chaffee, Jr. and took control of all tank units in infantry and cavalry units.[1]

Armor branch insignia, featuring crossed sabers with an M26 Pershing tank superimposed on top
ActiveCreated 10 July 1940
Country United States
Branch United States Army
Home stationFort Benning, Georgia
PatronSt. George is the patron saint of the U.S. Army's Armor Branch.
Motto(s)The Combat Arm of Decision
Branch colorYellow


Even though the armor branch traces its lineage back to the original cavalry units, its first beginnings date from the First World War. U.S. Army Service Regulation 42, change 1, dated December 29, 1917 authorized "the first insignia for the new tank service."[2] This new insignia was the image of the "front-end view of a conventionalized tank", but in appearance looked like an unidentifiable upper half circle of sort of storage or transport container. A little over 4 months later on 07 May 1918, change 2 to Regulation 42, eliminated the Army's first Tank Service and replaced it with the new U.S. Army Tank Corps, along with a newly designed collar insignia which consisted of the "side view of the Mark VIII tank above two stylized dragons breathing fire over a wreath."[3] In 1921 U.S. Army Circular 72 deactivated the U.S. Army Tank Corps, returning all armored vehicles to the Cavalry and Infantry units, which also removed the new "Tank Corps" collar insignia from the service.[4]

On 10 July 1940 the U.S. Army Armored Force was created and on February 25, 1942 Army Circular 56 created a new collar insignia, consisting of the left side view of a Mark VIII tank. This simple tank design had no decorations or other objects surrounding it, and was the insignia worn by U.S. Army personnel thru-out WWII.[5] Presently, the current U.S. Army "Armor" branch collar insignia , which consists of the front view of a U.S. M-26 Pershing tank superimposed over two crossed swords, replaces the WWII collar insignia with the "Army Regorganization Act of 1950, Section 404, Army Bulletin 9", in which the current Armor insignia became authorized to wear in February 1951.[6] The Armored Command was headquartered at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, became effective on 2 July 1943, the Armored Center on 20 February 1944, and was discontinued on 30 October 1945. The Armor Center at Fort Knox Kentucky transferred to Fort Benning Georgia in 2010. United States Army Armor School is now located at Fort Benning.


ARMOR is the professional journal, originally published as the Cavalry Journal in 1885. The name was changed to Armor in 1940 after the transition from Horse Cavalry to Armor for the U.S. Army’s Armor Branch, published by the Chief of Armor at Fort Benning, GA., training center for the Army’s tank and cavalry forces. It is also one of the oldest publications in the U.S., founded in 1888 by cavalry officers on the American frontier as a forum for discussing doctrine, tactics, and equipment among soldiers geographically separated by the great distances of the American West.


Current units

See also


  1. ^ Army Ground Forces, Study No. 1, Chapter III: GHQ and the Armored Force
  2. ^ Laframboise p 105, 106
  3. ^ Laframboise p. 108
  4. ^ Laframboise p. 110
  5. ^ Laframboise p. 121
  6. ^ Laframboise p. 125

External links

316th Cavalry Brigade

The 316th Cavalry Brigade of the United States Army is the brigade responsible for the training of U.S. Army Cavalry and Armor officers and non-commissioned officers. The 16th Cavalry Regiment was redesignated as this unit in July 2010. The 316th Cavalry Brigade is currently assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, in accordance with the Base Realignment and Closure of 2005.

Andrew Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich Jr. (born July 5, 1947) is an American historian specializing in international relations, security studies, American foreign policy, and American diplomatic and military history. He is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. He is also a retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army, retiring with the rank of Colonel. He is a former director of Boston University's Center for International Relations (from 1998 to 2005), now part of the Pardee School of Global Studies.Bacevich has been "a persistent, vocal critic of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, calling the conflict a catastrophic failure." In March 2007, he described George W. Bush's endorsement of such "preventive wars" as "immoral, illicit, and imprudent." His son, Andrew John Bacevich, also an Army officer, died fighting in the Iraq War in May 2007.

Armor (magazine)

ARMOR is the professional journal of the U.S. Army’s Armor Branch, published by the Chief of Armor at Fort Benning, Georgia, training center for the Army’s tank and cavalry forces (United States Army Armor School). ARMOR magazine is the U.S. Army's oldest professional journal, founded by U.S. Cavalry officers in 1888, and originally titled as The Cavalry Journal.

Cavalry Stetson

The Cavalry Stetson is a Cavalry tradition within the United States Army.

Charles J. Girard

Charles J. Girard (July 23, 1917 – January 17, 1970) was a brigadier general in the United States Army. Assigned to head the Capital Military Assistance Command in Saigon in November 1969, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage two months later, becoming one of the highest-ranking American officers to die in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

A native of Sumter, South Carolina and a graduate of The Citadel, Girard taught school and served in the Army Reserve prior to World War II. During the war he took part in combat throughout Africa and Europe, and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel as commander of the 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. He remained in the Army after the war, and continued to serve in combat and training assignments, primarily in the Armor branch.

During the Vietnam War, Girard was Deputy Commander of the Capital Military Assistance Command (CMAC) in Saigon (March-November 1969). In November, he was appointed as CMAC's commander. In January 1970, Girard died from a cerebral hemorrhage while still serving in South Vietnam; he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Combat arms

Combat arms (or fighting arms in non-American parlance) is a collective name in a system of administrative military reference to those troops within national armed forces which participate in direct tactical ground combat. In general they include units that carry or employ a weapon system such as infantry, cavalry, and artillery units. The use of multiple combat arms in mutually supporting ways is known as combined arms.

In some countries, notably the British Army, the artillery units are categorised as combat support. Some armies such as the United States Army, classify combat engineers as a combat arm also, while armoured troops constitute a combat arm in name although many have histories derived from cavalry units. This is also true for the combat aviation units in many armed forces throughout the world.

Artillery is included as a combat arm primarily based on the history of employing cannons in close combat, and later in the anti-tank role until the advent of anti-tank guided missiles. The inclusion of special forces in some armed forces as a separate combat arm is often doctrinal because the troops of special forces units are essentially specialized infantry, often with historical links to ordinary light infantry units.

Daniel Van Voorhis

Daniel Van Voorhis (October 24, 1878 – January 9, 1956) was a United States Army Lieutenant General and was noteworthy for his assignments as commander of V Corps and the Caribbean Defense Command, as well as his efforts in creating the Army's modern Armor branch.

Dave Richard Palmer

Dave Richard Palmer (born May 31, 1934) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General, former Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point(1986–1991), military historian and author, and former President of Walden University. A 1956 graduate of West Point, he served two tours in the Vietnam War and numerous command positions during the height of the Cold War.

Donald M. Campbell Jr.

Lieutenant General Donald M. Campbell Jr. (born January 3, 1955) in Florida, He was the commanding general of U.S. Army Europe. He commanded U.S. Army Europe from December 1, 2012 to November 5, 2014.

Excellence in Armor

Excellence in Armor (EIA) is a program of the United States Army that awards outstanding Armor and Cavalry Soldiers whose performance is routinely above the standard and demonstrate superior leadership potential. The EIA was initially proposed in May 1984 and implemented in October 1987. The program rewards outstanding armor and cavalry Soldiers with a Certificate of Achievement, a challenge coin from the U.S. Army's Chief of Armor, awarding of the personnel development skill identifier (PDSI) “E4J,” and will set the Soldier apart from their peers during promotion boards.According to U.S. Army Armor School, the EIA program identifies outstanding Armor Branch Soldiers in the ranks of Private (E-1/OR-1) through Sergeant (E-5/OR-5) who have demonstrated performance and leadership potential, either in One Station Unit Training (OSUT) or in Armor and Cavalry units. EIA also applies to Armor and Cavalry Soldiers serving in non-Armor units in the Regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. One of the established goals of the program is to "increase combat readiness across Armor and Cavalry units through identification and promotion of highly qualified highly motivated Armor and Cavalry Soldiers and non-commissioned officers.

Guidon (United States)

In the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force, a guidon is a military standard that company/battery/troop or platoon-sized detachments carry to signify their unit designation and branch/corps affiliation or the title of the individual who carries it. A basic guidon can be rectangular, but sometimes has a triangular portion removed from the fly (known as "swallow-tailed").

Infantry Branch (United States)

The Infantry Branch (also known as the "Queen of the Battle") is a branch of the United States Army first established in 1775.

List of United States Army careers

The United States Army uses various personnel management systems to classify soldiers in different specialties.

Enlisted soldiers are categorized by their assigned job called a Military Occupational Specialty or MOS are labeled with a short alphanumerical code called a military occupational core specialty code (MOSC), which consists of a two-digit number appended by a Latin letter. Related MOSs are grouped together by Career Management Fields (CMF). For example, an enlisted soldier with MOSC 11B works as an infantryman (his MOS), and is part of CMF 11 (the CMF for infantry).

Commissioned officers are classified by their area of concentration, or AOC. Just like enlisted MOSCs, AOCs are two digits plus a letter. Related AOCs are grouped together by specific branch of the Army or by broader in scope functional areas (FA). Typically, an officer will start in an AOC of a specific branch and move up to an FA AOC.

Warrant officers are classified by warrant officer military occupational specialty, or WOMOS. Codes consists of three digits plus a letter. Related WOMOS are grouped together by Army branch.

The Army is currently restructuring its personnel management systems. Changes took place in 2004 and continued into 2013. Changes include deleting obsolete jobs, merging redundant jobs, and using common numbers for both enlisted CMFs and officer AOCs (e.g. "35" is military intelligence for both officers and enlisted).

Medical Education and Training Campus

The Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) integrated campus under a single university-style administration, with nearly 50 programs of study available to U.S. military enlisted students and a small number of foreign military students. METC is located at Joint Base San Antonio on Fort Sam Houston, Texas with a field training site located at Camp Bullis. Its goal is to "train the world's finest Medics, Corpsmen, and Technicians".METC's vision is "Train for the Mission...Education for a Lifetime of Service."

United States Army Acquisition Corps

The United States Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) is the officer corps of the United States Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW). The Acquisition Corps is composed of army officers who serve in acquisition, a specialized form of product development, fielding, and support. These officers begin their careers in the other branches of the army for eight years, after which they may elect the Acquisition branch as their career as assistant program managers (APMs), program managers (PMs), and program executive officers (PEOs). (A PEO can be civilian.) Four percent of the 40,000 members of the army acquisition workforce are army officers; the remainder are largely civilians, with some contingency contracting NCOs for urgent or emergency contracts.The director of the Army Acquisition Corps, currently a lieutenant general, also serves as principal military deputy (PMILDEP) to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology or ASA(ALT). The PMILDEP is also director of combat systems for Army Futures Command (AFC), by Army Directive 2018-15.

The Office of ASA(ALT) has a direct reporting unit (DRU) which is denoted the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC). An office within USAASC, DACM ensures the professional development of the Acquisition Workforce as well as the officer corps itself, including the recruitment of suitable captains and majors into the pipeline of courses at Defense Acquisition University (DAU). DAU certifies the 150,000-member Defense Acquisition Workforce, including the Army's Acquisition workforce of 40,000 civilians, officers, and NCOs (MOS 51C).

United States Army Armor School

The United States Army Armor School is a training school located at Fort Benning, Georgia. Its primary focus is the training of United States Army soldiers, NCOs, and commissioned officers in the operation, tactics, and maintenance of Armor forces and equipment, including the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, assorted crew-served and personal weapons, and various other equipment including radios. The school is also the site where U.S. Marines are sent for training on the Abrams tank. The Armor School moved to Fort Benning in 2010 as part of the United States' BRAC program.

United States Cavalry

The United States Cavalry, or U.S. Cavalry, was the designation of the mounted force of the United States Army from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. The Cavalry branch became the Armor branch with tanks in 1950, but the term "Cavalry" such as "armored cavalry" remains in use in the U.S. Army for mounted (ground and aviation) reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) units based on their parent Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) regiment. Cavalry is also used in the name of the 1st Cavalry Division for heraldic/lineage/historical purposes. Some combined arms battalions (i.e., consisting of a combination of tank and mechanized infantry companies) are designated as armor formations, while others are designated as infantry organizations. These "branch" designations are again, heraldic/lineage/historical titles derived from the CARS regiments to which the battalions are assigned.Originally named and designated as United States Dragoons, the forces were patterned after cavalry units employed during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), especially by the opposing well-supplied mounted dragoons units of the King's Army (British Army), especially used with great effectiveness in the Southern Theater of the Carolinas in the latter part of the war. The traditions of the U.S. Cavalry originated with the horse-mounted force which played an important role in extending United States governance into the Western United States, especially after the American Civil War (1861–1865), with the need to cover vast ranges of territory between scattered isolated forts and outposts of the minimal resources given to the stretched thin U.S. Army.

Significant numbers of horse mounted units participated in later foreign conflicts in the Spanish–American War of 1898, and in the Western Front battlefields of Europe in World War I (1917–1918), although numbers and roles declined.

Immediately preceding World War II (1941–1945), the U.S. Cavalry began transitioning to a mechanized, mounted force. During the Second World War, the Army's cavalry units operated as horse-mounted, mechanized, or dismounted forces (infantry). The last horse-mounted cavalry charge by a U.S. Cavalry unit took place on the Bataan Peninsula, in the Philippines in early 1942. The 26th Cavalry Regiment of the allied Philippine Scouts executed the charge against Imperial Japanese Army forces near the village of Morong on 16 January 1942.The U.S. Cavalry branch was absorbed into the Armor branch as part of the Army Reorganization Act of 1950. The Vietnam War saw the introduction of helicopters and operations as a helicopter-borne force with the designation of Air Cavalry, while mechanized cavalry received the designation of Armored Cavalry.

Today, cavalry designations and traditions continue with regiments of both armor and aviation units that perform the cavalry mission. The 1st Cavalry Division is the only active division in the United States Army with a cavalry designation. The division maintains a detachment of horse-mounted cavalry for ceremonial purposes.

United States military occupation code

A United States military occupation code, or a military occupational specialty code (MOS code), is a nine-character code used in the United States Army and United States Marine Corps to identify a specific job. In the United States Air Force, a system of Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC) is used. In the United States Navy, a system of naval ratings and designators are used along with the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) system. A system of ratings are also used in the United States Coast Guard.

Since an individual can obtain multiple job specialties, a duty military occupational specialty (DMOS) is used to identify what their primary job function is at any given time. An individual must complete and pass all required training for their military occupational specialty qualification (MOSQ).

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